If Bosnia is one of Europe’s hidden treasures, then Kravice Waterfalls would have to be the most hidden-hidden treasure of all. Natural beauty will delight you. Kravica waterfall, often erroneously called Kravice, is a large tufa cascade on the Trebižat River, in the karstic heartland of Herzegovina in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is 10 kilometres (6 mi) south of Ljubuški and 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Mostar. Its height is about 25 metres (80 ft) and the radius of the lake in the base of the waterfall is 120 metres (390 ft). Kravice is a popular swimming and picnic area and, during the summer, it is frequently visited by tourists from Mostar, Medjugorje and Dubrovnik.
Situated on the Trebižat River amidst Europe’s last jungle lies a series of waterfalls that conjure images more in keeping with the Swiss Family Robinson than those traditionally Balkan.
Plunging from cliffs as high as 80 feet (25m) into a natural, watery amphitheater that is almost 400 feet across, the series of waterfalls at Kravice are nestled in a natural reserve southwest of the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The collective impression created is one of a more approachable, kid sister to the thunderous Iguazu Falls spanning Brazil and Argentina’s border that remains less visited, and unspoiled in a way its big brother can no longer claim.
The best part about the Kravice falls is that even though they are incredibly impressive (imagine a miniature version of Brazil’s Iguazu Falls) the area is still void of any mass-tourism infrastructure. There’s an ample car park and café’ at the entry to the park and a lovely boardwalk which takes you all the way down to the base of the falls, where you can swim, sun bake, picnic and even pitch a tent for the night if you’re so equipped.
If you are there in the summer, you can opt for rafting, which is quite popular at that time. However, spring is probably the best time to visit the Kravice waterfalls as the weather and the lush green scenery is particularly welcoming during the season. In fact, there’s even a little food specialty that goes on during springtime near Kravice falls, primarily based on grilled fish and local recipes. One should also check out the stalactite formations inside a natural grotto nearby. There’s the old mill and a sailing ship that might be worth checking out as well.
During the late spring and hot summer months, an amazing natural phenomenon occurs at noon time. The heat causes some of the lake water to rise up and form into a mist like formation at the top of the valley. It is not just gorgeous to look at, but the layer of watery mist also provides a natural layer of shade against the hot sun and keeps the temperature down for the people sitting on the sandy beach below or swimming in the lake. Apart from the waterfall, there is an opportunity to explore the Trebižat river itself via canoe rides as well.
The Trebižat River offers pleasant canoe trips, organized by local experts, with 10-km river journeys for about 35 Euros per person (inclusive of guide, canoe and equipment). An experience really not to be missed where the frenetic pace of daily life seems to be only a far-off memory.
Don’t miss unique experience
The waterfalls have a natural pool dug out at the base of the falls by the constant rush of water. This large pool under waterfalls it is not so deep and you can touch the bottom on many places, so it is very good area for kids to swim. The waterfalls self are amazing and we are sure that you will also try to go under them and swim under. Don’t worry if you happen to visit during the drier months, the falls may not be as wowing as when they’re in full thrust, but at least you’ll be able to swim right under them, which would be incredibly stunning indeed.
The rapids at the base of the falls aren’t particularly dangerous even in the springtime, and no lifeguards are charged with policing activities. There are small beaches surrounding water pool so bringing towels with you is a must. This makes the natural swimming holes at Kravice local favorites despite the water’s year-round chilly temperature. As if bathing beneath cascading waters and leaping from rock to rock weren’t enough, a rope swing dive has even been added for bonus kicks. There’s also a cool little bar down by the water’s edge where you can grab a coffee or nibbly.
Popular in the summer season above all with rafting enthusiasts and locals, it is the perfect place for all those who wish to relax and enjoy themselves in the midst of an uncontaminated atmosphere, accompanied by the constant sound of waterfalls in the background. Near to them, there is also a small grotto with stalactites made of calcium carbonate, an old mill and a sailing ship, all to be admired.
Ticket price per person is 4 KM (about 2 euros), and if you want to use parking within the complex itself, an additional fee is payable depending on the type of vehicle (eg For 2 KM(€1) car for the first hour and 1 KM(€0.5) for each next, for buses 10 KM(€5) for the first hour and 5 KM(€2.5) for each subsequent caravan, 4 KM(€2) per hour and motorcycle 0.50 KM(€0.2) per hour). This can be a good option if you want extra security for your transport environment, even though it does not guarantee you accountability for any possible damage.
How do you get there
The nearest airports are Mostar International Airport (OMO) and Dubrovnik Čilipi Airport (DBV). When you get there, there are many tour operators who offer trips to Kravice.
However, if you prefer to arrange the trip yourself, getting to the waterfalls is a bit tricky, if you are in Bosnia and Herzegovina head south-west out of Mostar following signs towards Krusevo and follow the road all the way to Ljubuski. Turn left towards Studenci. About 10kms from the turn look for a brown sign pointing to a left side road advertising Kravice Falls. Follow it until it ends (approximately 3km) at the parking lot.
Or you can reach there if you take a cab from Mostar (if you happen to be in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and go south for about 40 km. Keep in mind that it’s only about 10 km to the south of Ljubuški.
If you are in Croatia, you will first need to get to Metković and then onto Mostar. Drive through and once you have driven past its border, take a left turn over the river. This should lead you into Čapljina town. Cross the town and you will soon see a T-junction with a road that leads towards Ljubuški. Drive south from there and the road signs should lead you near the Kravice waterfall soon enough.